Double whammy for Hyundai: Azcona helps team bag maiden double title in WTCR | The Financial Express

Double whammy for Hyundai: Azcona helps team bag maiden double title in WTCR

The Italian outfit has enjoyed one of its strongest campaigns in the series and led the standings from the fourth round in Spain.

Double whammy for Hyundai: Azcona helps team bag maiden double title in WTCR
In total, the team accumulated two pole positions, five fastest laps, seven podium visits and five wins before its victory.

Hyundai Motorsport customer BRC Racing Team has bagged its maiden double-title in the current FIA WTCR – World Touring Car Cup. Hyundai Elantra N TCR driver Mikel Azcona has clinched the 2022 drivers’ title. On the other hand, the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse has also secured its inaugural teams’ crown following the qualifying at Race of Saudi Arabia.

After a successful Race of Bahrain where the title advantage had been extended, Azcona arrived at Race of Saudi Arabia knowing he had to score only six points. After getting up to speed in the two free practice sessions, the Spaniard was able to outscore his rival by progressing into the top-five shootout in qualifying and take third position. 

As his lead was extended to 68-points, it was confirmed that he had done enough to wrap up the title early in the weekend.

By clinching the WTCR title, Azcona becomes the first Spaniard to do so; and follows in the footsteps of team-mate Norbert Michelisz, who took the drivers’ crown in 2019, and Team Manager Gabriele Tarquini, the 2018 winner.

Azcona set out his title-winning intentions early, with victory at the opening round of the season, Race of France. His second win came in Race 1 at the Hungaroring in June, which powered him to the lead of standings. He extended his advantage at the Race of Spain with a third win and a podium and maintained it with three further trips to the podium in Portugal and Italy. 

A double visit to the rostrum in Alsace gave the Spaniard a healthy 35-point lead with two final rounds to go. The drivers’ title was within reaching distance for Azcona after he clinched pole position and won Race 1 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Italian outfit has enjoyed one of its strongest campaigns in the series and led the standings from the fourth round in Spain. The team continued to extract the full potential of the Hyundai Elantra N TCR, also closing the title battle early.

In total, the team accumulated two pole positions, five fastest laps, seven podium visits and five wins before its victory. 

Mikel Azcona said, “It feels like a dream to say I am the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup winner. This is something I have always dreamed of achieving ever since I was a young boy. It has been a fantastic year and I can’t thank BRC and Hyundai Motorsport Customer Racing enough for their hard work and support. I could not have done this without them,”

“They have provided me with an incredibly competitive Elantra N TCR that I was able to challenge with race by race. It is also great to win the teams’ title as well, it has been a tough season, but this is the perfect reward.”, he added.

Julien Moncet, Deputy Team Director, Hyundai Motorsport  said, “It is such a proud moment to have another Hyundai Motorsport customer win in WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, especially as it is a double win. Mikel has been fantastic this year, and fully deserves to be on top of the podium after a close season of racing.”

Sean Kim, President, Hyundai Motorsport said, “WTCR is an incredibly competitive series, with strong drivers and teams involved. The wins are an indication of the talent of the drivers and our customer team, as well as everyone involved with the project as part of our Customer Racing department.”

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First published on: 29-11-2022 at 13:59 IST